fair trade coffee

Criteria for Organic Fair Trade Coffee Labeling

Did you know that coffee is the second most valuable commodity within the entire world. In fact, the only product traded more frequently than coffee is petroleum. With over 25 million coffee farmers and workers sprinkled throughout the world, this is among the most lucrative industries throughout the world. However, with profitability comes greed, and with greed comes corrupt business practices. In an attempt to thwart coffee producers who utilize cheap labor and support farming practices, Organic Fair Trade labeling was established. According to Global Exchange, an international human rights organization, coffee with Fair Trade labeling was cultivated, harvested and imported based upon a strict set of guidelines and standards.

Fair Trade Coffee Growing Conditions

In order for a coffee to be declared Fair Trade, the beans must be cultivated through a specific process. In fact, nearly 85% of coffee that’s considered Fair Trade Certified is either certified organic or passively organic. Perhaps one of the largest issues within the coffee farming industry is the use of pesticides and other harmful growing techniques, which leave the soil ruined for future generations. One of the most important criteria for Fair Trade Certification is how the coffee beans are grown.

Typically, smaller farming organizations do not have the money to utilize environmentally-safe techniques. Because of this, Fair Trade Certifications ensure the farmers are paid a wage that allows farmers to retain the best ecological practices for sustainable farming. By purchasing Fair Trade Certified coffee beans, you’re purchasing coffee that was cultivated using safe, chemical-free conditions, while simultaneously ensuring the farmer’s received ample compensation for their work. In fact, Fair Trade certification costs are not paid by the actual growers, but by the consuming countries or the roasting facilities. This ensures farmer’s are not having to spend their hard-earned money to prove their sustainable farming techniques.

The Difference Between Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Certifications

Perhaps one of the most commonly confused topics within the coffee industry is the difference between organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee. In fact, many consumers believe these terms are interchangeable. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even coffee beans that are marked as organic may not have been cultivated or imported according to the strict guidelines established by the Fair Trade Network. The harsh reality is most organic coffee is not Fair Trade, which means the working conditions of the farmers, and their compensation, does not match the standards set forth by this organization. Fair Trade coffee beans are best online, since they can be roasted upon order and delivered to your door.

Comments are closed.